Michael Moore unveiled the film Nike "didn't want the
world to see" Wednesday night in Portland, OR, as a "packed
house" watched the premiere of "The Big One," according to
Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN. Manning wrote that
the movie "travels a familiar but entertaining populist
path," and that its "climactic" scene shows a "surprisingly
chummy meeting" between Moore and Nike CEO Phil Knight last
August. During the meeting, Moore "admonishes" Knight for
taking most of Nike's manufacturing overseas, and asks him
to build a factory in Flint, MI. However, Manning writes
that the "tone" of the meeting "is always somewhat genial."
Moore, to Knight in the film: "I honestly think you're the
good guy. You're not General Motors." After the film's
premiere, Moore unveiled his "Just Build It" campaign,
asking viewers to write to Nike and ask it to build a
factory in Flint (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/26).
NIKE'S RESPONSE: Nike issued a statement concerning the
film: "In the interest of feeding the viewer what he thinks
is funny, Moore leaves out the facts, even facts he
acknowledged when he spoke with Phil Knight." On Wednesday,
Nike Senior Manager/Communications Vada Manager
"acknowledged" that Nike "did want the film changed," and
asked Moore "to add that Nike has voluntarily instituted a
minimum working age of 16" at its Asian factories. Manager
said that Moore "offered to change the film" if Nike would
build the Flint factory, and added that the director's
unwillingness to add the requested information "speaks to
the intellectual dishonesty of the film" (OREGONIAN, 3/26).
GLOBAL NOTES: ESPN will examine labor practices in the
sneaker industry in an "Outside The Lines" special titled
"Made In Vietnam: The American Sneaker Controversy" airing
April 2 at 7:30pm ET. The show will include a report on
manufacturing policies of U.S. sneaker companies, and a look
inside Nike and Reebok factories in Saigon (ESPN)....The
global workplace standards of multinational corporations,
including Nike and Reebok, are examined by Philip Rozenzweig
in today's FINANCIAL TIMES. Rosenzweig: "Instead of
reducing the debate to 'good' versus 'bad,' it is more
useful to examine how some leading multinationals address
this important issue" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/27).
Cardinals QB Jake Plummer "could be coming soon" to
TVs, radios and billboards in AZ, according to Kent Somers
of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. ISI Exec VP Steve Rosner said that
the plan for Plummer, who recently signed with the NJ-based
company, is to "represent two to three local companies this
year and then perhaps expand to national markets." Somers
writes that Plummer has already "reaped benefits" from a
solid rookie season, during which he met incentive clauses
with Nike and Logo Athletic. In addition, the NFL
Quarterback Club "has invited Plummer to join." Marketers
estimate that Plummer "can expect to make" $150,000-$200,000
from deals already in place, and another $50,000-$100,000 in
new local deals. Somers notes "obstacles" in Plummer's
marketing process, including the Cardinals' reputation as
"one of the league's worst franchises," and to Plummer's
involvement in a Tempe nightclub incident last year as
things that might "tarnish" his image. However, local
marketers "don't think" those problems will affect his
marketability, and Somers writes that Plummer may have "more
marketing potential than any other Cardinal has had since
the team moved to Arizona" in '89 (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/27).
Fila USA will "freelance" two upcoming ads starring
Chris Webber and the Mystics' Nikki McCray. Following those
ads, Fila, which has been "without an agency" since Arnell
Group resigned to take Tommy Hilfiger USA, will "hold a
creative competition" for its planned November launch of
Grant Hill's new Hill V shoe. Fila wants the agency that
wins that competition to "become its new agency of record,"
and plans to entrust it with a "key marketing initiative:
the launch next February of a new athletic performance
brand, its positioning tied to its 2/A footwear technology."
The Fila account is "estimated" at $15M (AD AGE, 3/27).
AD-IDAS NEWS: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (AMVBBDO) said
it will sell its London-based worldwide adidas agency Leagas
Delaney "to its management" for $6.7M. The deal includes
AMVBBDO's 30% stake in Leagas, which is "now worth" $100M.
AMVBBDO said the sale, "to close" April 7, was "driven by
Delaney's push for international expansion" (AD AGE, 3/27).
Prudential renewed its sponsorship of the "NBA on NBC,"
with a new four-year deal, and will continue to sponsor the
"Prudential Halftime Report" (Prudential). The deal is
estimated at "about" $80M (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/27)....
Univ. of Texas senior Brad Elder is the "hottest property"
among golf management companies right now, according to a
report in GOLF WORLD. Elder is "coveted" by both Pros Inc.
and Players Group, but Players "may have the inside track"
as client Fred Couples "has become one of Elder's mentors"
(GOLF WORLD, 3/27).... First USA will issue and market
credit cards to the D'backs, Rockies, Dodgers and Twins, who
will join the Marlins, A's, Phillies, Mariners and Devil
Rays on First USA's MLB roster (First USA)....Airtouch
Cellular will sponsor turnstile advertising at The Palace
(Entry Media)....Star Bank will become a presenting sponsor
of the Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland (IMG Motorsports).
As fans arrive in San Antonio for this weekend's men's
Final Four, stores in the city "are bursting with Final Four
fashions," according to Courtenay Martin of the SAN ANTONIO
EXPRESS-NEWS. Gear For Sports, the official merchandiser
for the event, is the only vendor selling official goods in
the downtown area, 25 major hotels and the airport, although
"most" major department stores and sports retail shops in
the city are carrying both official and unofficial items
(SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/26). Gear For Sports and K.C.-
based BlairLake New Media have launched finalfourstore.com,
a web site which sells official Final Four clothing and
merchandise. The site, which opened March 12, is attracting
"about" 6,000 visitors a day (K.C. STAR, 3/27).
WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR: Kansas City is hosting this
weekend's women's Final Four, and Rick Alm writes that the
city is expected to "reap more than" $20M in revenue as a
result of the event (K.C. STAR, 3/27).
CORPORATE HANGOVER: In San Antonio, Poling & Vaughan
write that the city is "the place for corporations to be
seen" this weekend, as media "swarm the city" and "more
than" 40,000 fans bring "millions of dollars in purchasing
power" to San Antonio. Official NCAA sponsors, including
Mountain Dew, GTE, Gillette, AmEx and Sears are "milking the
event for all it's worth," with many staging "highly
publicized" trips and ticket giveaways....46-year-old PA
train conductor Bob Fairgrieve will get the chance to sink a
three-point shot for $1M between tomorrow's NCAA men's
semifinal games, in a contest sponsored by Gillette
(EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/26)....The finals of the Miller Lite Dick
Vitale Sound-A-Like contest will be held today in San
Antonio. Chris Fowler will emcee the event, with Vitale and
Digger Phelps among the judges (THE DAILY)....Both San
Antonio and Kansas City will host the "NCAA Hoop City"
interactive exhibits in conjunction with the Final Fours.
It is the first time the attraction has accompanied a
women's Final Four. NCAA officials expect 40,000 people to
attend in K.C., and 75,000 in San Antonio (K.C. STAR, 3/27).
FINAL FOUR THOUGHTS: An editorial in today's WALL
STREET JOURNAL addresses the NCAA basketball tournament:
"Forget the NBA, with its slick 'I love this game'
promotion. We're tired of watching overhyped, overpampered
guys mugging with Jack Nicholson, Spike Lee and the $1,000-
ticket crowd. ... We prefer the NCAAs because the kids still
love the game" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/27).